21 March 2016 thumb Dogs and Poison Ivy

Poison oak and poison ivy are associated to a group of plants known as toxicodendron. These are also called as Rhus species. The poisonous principle in poison oak and poison ivy is its component urushiol. This toxic substance is an oil resin contained in the plant sap. Animals are quite repellant to the adverse effects of urushiol but can transfer the toxin to a human being.

Dogs and cats usually come in contact with the poison ivy or poison oak plant in wooded parts outdoors. They may take in some parts of the plant but, more likely, they will brush it against it will walking through. The sap or oil from the plant can stick to the hair coating of the animals. When you cuddle your dog or cat after they got the sap, the sap can transferred from their fur to your skin through stroking or holding. If you are predisposed to poison oak or poison ivy, skin irritation like rashes or blisters can happen.

In animals, exposure to urushiol uncommon results in skin reactions that pet owners should watch for are red inflamed skin of their pets, signs of itchiness like frequent rubbing on the floor or scratching, raised bumps or blisters or just swelling of the affected part and gastrointestinal problems like vomiting or diarrhea if the toxic plant is accidentally ingested.

Professional care can be sought. Veterinary care is advised if the animal develops an adverse reaction to the plant, especially if the plant is taken in. Early veterinary care should be rendered in situations of severe vomiting, diarrhea or weakness. The diagnosis will be based on known exposure or ingestion of the poison ivy or from the presentation of the symptoms on your pet.

Treatment of urushiol poison is based on the level of severity of the signs presented. For those animals with skin reaction, prolonged bathing and rinsing that last for at least 10 minutes is advised to the pet owners.

For those dogs having the reaction after ingesting the plant, hospitalization with giving of intravenous fluids may be needed. Activated charcoal may be ingested if it is suspected that more plant content is still in the stomach. This helps deactivated the poison as the name implies.

For those pets affected with topical urushiol, prolonged bathing and rinsing for at least 10 minutes is advised. Be careful and use gloves when bathing the animal so you do not come in contact with the toxic substance.

For those animals consuming the plant, observe them for vomiting, lack of appetite during feeding and diarrhea.

Avoiding exposure to poison ivy or poison oak is the main element to preventing urushiol poisoning. Do not let your pet to freely roam especially in unknown places. When on vacation, take care to prevent poison oak or poison ivy plants. If your pet has come in exposure with poison oak or poison ivy, prompt prolonged bathing can help reduce the risk of poison. Luckily, most dogs and cats seem to be repellant to the toxins of poison ivy and poison oak.

Source: www.health-guidances.com